Our primary practice area is in representing individuals who are attempting to get Social Security Disability benefits. Our clients incomes are generally at 250% of poverty or less. We serve clients in all parts of Montana if they are willing to go to a major town for their hearings. We do hearings over video conferencing as well as in person with the Administrative Law Judges from the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review in Billings. We take these cases on a contingency basis with a maximum fee of $6000 per case. In most cases the fees are much less. These clients can come back to us if they later face losing their benefits and we will represent them again for no additional attorney’s fees.
We also do work for individuals who are in danger of losing their Social Security benefits (Cessation) who have not been our clients and individuals who have overpayment cases with SSA or who are trying to obtain Medicare benefits. We do not charge for our services in these cases. We do as much of this work as possible but cannot possibly handle all the cases in these areas.
In addition, every attorney employed by PLC does a variety of pro bono work, every thing from brief advice and counsel to individuals not eligible for MLSA services , providing community and legal education classes, to working in clinics or taking individual direct representation Our staff has an average of 20 years experience providing legal services to Montanans, primarily those who are low income.
We are also now in a position to award grants to social services agencies across the state, primarily those working with individuals who have little or no resources to pay for medications, medical equipment, visual and dental care. We awarded grants this year to 44 separate grantees across Montana these included mental health centers, clinics, and other agencies in order to provide direct medical services to those who have no other options and who but for this money would not receive care they desperately need.
Our board consists of 3 members, all of whom are from Helena, Pat Melby who is retired from the practice of law, Ron Waterman with Gough Shanahan Johnson and Waterman, and Kathie Zanto who is employed at the Center for Mental Health.
People’s Law Center is the largest organization, public or private that practices exclusively Social Security Disability Law in Montana. We exist because there is a need for experienced, compassionate representation of individuals seeking Social Security Disability benefits from the United States Government.
Every case if different and we do not guarantee results but we promise to work diligently for our clients and represent them to the best of our ability.